Food for the Poor - What would YOU do?

Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by yeltto, Jun 29, 2010.

  1. yeltto

    yeltto New Member

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    I have been thinking for days on how one could feed the world. I don't think my mind will rest until I put into action a plan to start the process. I want to put together a humanitarian project to build food growing starter kits that would provide some basic education, seeds, and instructions for people to get started. I have seen humanitarian kits with food in them, toiletries, blankets and/or coloring books. I personally have participated with my local church in making thousands of these kits that have been sent to all the world - usually after some disaster. But I never have seen growing kits made. I thought it would be a good idea.

    Therefore, I am putting out a challenge to all those who love permaculture and growing food . . .

    CHALLENGE
    If you were to create a seed growing kit that included up to 10 different seed varieties (30+ seeds per variety), to be planted on a small garden plot (less then 0.25 of an acre / less then 0.1 of a hectare) in the following climate zones what would they be?

    Tropical

    Temperate

    Dry

    Keep in mind the following in your selection:
    - Food to eat is #1
    - Balanced Nutrition
    - Sustainability
    - Diversity
    - Water Requirements
    - Easy of Growth from Seed to Harvested Seed (Growers will be newbies)
    - Opportunity to Barter or Sell Part of Harvest

    Commentary is welcomed on your choices. I hope with this information I can put a plan into place to begin the journey of feeding the world.

    Thanks!
     
  2. purplepear

    purplepear Junior Member

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    Occupation:
    Farm manager/ educator
    Location:
    Hunter Valley New South Wales
    Home Page:
    Climate:
    warm temperate - some frost - changing every year
    Good plan friend - i will start looking at plants and you might like to start thinking about how you can put Hope and Fun into the kits too
     
  3. yeltto

    yeltto New Member

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    My hope is to make the kits easy to understand with enough information to get people putting seeds in the ground. I lived in the Philippines for almost a year during the huge commodity bubble and I was shocked at how easy it was to grow things in the tropics, but how most of the people looked only to government for help to feed their families. If only they had a little jump start with a grow kit and they could subsidize their own needs from their backyards.

    Once I have determined the seeds to use (with your help), I will then create a seed to seed instruction sheet for each variety showing how to prep the soil, plant, grow, harvest, compost/mulch and harvest the seeds to do it all over again - seed to seed.

    Thanks for your help!
     
  4. Dont foregett to put a land title deed in the 'kit'....... actually, all yer probably need is to put a land title deed in the 'kit' and some poor impoverished third world farmer will do the rest.....




    .
     
  5. Mechandy

    Mechandy Junior Member

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    It's like urinating in a wetsuit!

    That nice warm feeling, seeing the church and the neo-conservative's get together.

    Mechandy
     
  6. Dreamie

    Dreamie Junior Member

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    I think you need to define poor firstly.

    • Is it poor where the person lives off aid and has no benefit to providing for themself as with little to no work they get given everything?
    • Is it money poor, such as tropical areas where subsistence farming provides the basic needs but doesn’t provide the wants that the first world considers make you rich?
    • Is it land poor where the land is not sufficient to provide a yield and the person should be encouraged to move on?
    • Or is it poor where they expend 100% of their energy just trying to keep themselves alive and end up struggling day after day to get no where?

    Once you have defined what poor actually means then you can help them. The first three will not be helped by a seed bank, only the last will be.
    Once this is done you will need to define the area the person lives and the availability of staples. If the person has access to staples the type of seeds you would provide them are very different to a person who has no access to any staples.

    The seed bank also needs to be built around the permaculture principles, Care of the Earth, Care of the People, Share the Excess. It would also be of benefit to design around a layer system as well.

    A list of vegetables, fruit and herbs that would be of benefit across all areas.

    Canopy
    Fruit Trees, Nut Trees
    Low Tree Layer
    Tagaste, Dwarf Fruit Trees
    Shrub
    Berries.
    Herbaceous
    Tomatoes, Peppers, Capsicum, Corn, Spinach
    Comfrey, Borage, Tansy. – Soil Builders
    Amaranth, Wheat, Barley. - Staples
    Rosemary, Sage.
    Rhizosphere
    Potatoes, Sweet Potato, Garlic, Carrots, Parsnips, Beetroot
    Soil Surface
    Leeks, Lettuce, Cauliflower, Broccoli, Strawberries
    Thyme.
    Vertical
    Pumpkin, Zucchini, Cucumbers, Passionfruit, Kiwi Fruit, Beans, Peas

    Ideally you would design a guild that would work in a small area that could be expanded.
    Something like; an Apple tree, surrounded by amaranth or corn, with beans growing up the corn, a ground cover of pumpkin with potatoes under the soil.
     
  7. yeltto

    yeltto New Member

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    Dreamie, thanks for the list.

    "Poor" was a poor word choice. The goal would be to encourage everyone to return to looking at the earth as the source of life. Growing some food could help the starving squater to the king on the hill. It isn't about class, it is about growing food.
     
  8. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    From the point of view of the seeds to be grown, I would try to find out what is grown locally and stick with those varieties of plants since they will probably have the best chance of success and it will be easier for the locals to get advice from others too. This will also mean that the people will have a better chance of knowing how to prepare them for cooking and storing etc. With regard to gardening, i think someone has mentioned about other aspects of gardening that need to be taken into consideration apart from the overall climate such as soil types and availability of water. So i really don't think it would be too easy to come up with a one size fits all package based only on tropical temperate and dry. I think it would be better to put together packages based on countries as well as climate. And then with the advice of locals etc.

    Secondly, having read an excellent book called White Man's Burden by (William Eastman (name i think is right) I would suggest you try to forge links with a local NGO outfit or get some locals to work with you on this. Locals know what their own poor need more than we do and they have knowhow in solving logistical problems and can foresee problems that you won't be able to and they will know how to deal with them. Read this book too.

    Have you done any work on distribution. I know the fun part is probably putting together the package but you need to consider these others things as well. Or you may be dealing with that elsewhere.
     
  9. Grahame

    Grahame Senior Member

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    It is an admirable idea you have yeltto.

    If it were me... I would firstly do an audit of my lifestyle to determine if there are any of my actions, any of the things I do, that perpetuate big business/world trade - so called globalisation. Once I felt comfortable that my lifestyle in no way added to this misery causing paradigm, then I would see how I could get my local community to change its ways, how could my community work towards a sustainable existence? Once that was sorted I would see what I could do about spreading that through my country. I reckon by the time that was sorted I might find, that the problems of poverty and non-resilient communities in poorer countries may start to sort them selves out. After all, a lot of these communities were doing reasonably well before globalisation and rampant western consumerism.

    I'm just saying... Charity begins at home
     
  10. paradisi

    paradisi Junior Member

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    only doing tropical, been too long since I grew stuff in temperate and dry climates

    choko/chayote - - will grow anywhere and all of hte plant is edible - from roots to growing tips
    sweet potato - - leaves as a green, the tuber as a starch/food source
    passionfruit - - for the vertical - adds vitamin c to the diet
    pumpkin - eg jap or kent - - grows extemely well in sub - to tropical climates - is almost perennial - small elaves edible and fruti at any stage
    paw paw (papaya) - - another vertical -
    guava - - a good fruit
    vietnamese mint - - for teas and cooking adds a flavour -more herbs woudl be essential, but only 10 stypes allowed
    rosella - - excellent for tea, jams, cordials
    sugar cane - - for the sweetner - and for the drinks
    custard apple - - my favourite fruit and the seeds are a good lice remedy and proabbly a good pest remedy

    I would also include a banana - but there are no seeds of the more popular varieties - so maybe throw in a pup??
     
  11. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    Good list paradisi
    Do sweet potatoes grow/set seed?
    I have seen banana seeds, unusual varieties offerd in a few places mostly fairly cheaply.
    Chiltern is one, this is another
    https://www.tradewindsfruitstore.com/servlet/StoreFront

    I would include a few quirky medicianal plants too
    perhaps:-
    High-oil lemon balm, a very useful herb much neglegcted because it is useless-almost- dried.
    tea?
    Coffee
    Chocolate?
    Chillis?
    Fragrant grasses including vetiver.
    Weeds ( already there? ) dandelion
    pomegranate
    Chia
    Amaranth
    olive
     
  12. Mechandy

    Mechandy Junior Member

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    A Diamond amongst the Stones

    Graham, your post is delightful, and wonderfully insightful. We do indeed need to start focusing on root causes, which means, eliminating imperialistic behavior that's carried out in our names.

    The USA, along with most other 'Western World' countries, (25 % of the Worlds Population) live excessive consumption based lifestyles, and in order to maintain those lifestyles, their Governments have built enormous Industrial / Military complexes, so that they can ensure the continued exploitation of both the natural and human resources of the 'Developing World'. (The other 75%).

    The USA, spends US$2,250 Billion dollars per year on defense, money that it gets from its Taxpayers.

    Australia spends AUS$26 Billion per year on the same pursuit, money also gained from its Taxpayers.

    It's why I became a 'War Tax Resister', by purposefully and legally limiting my income to that of just below the Tax Free Threshold. If Yeltto is paying Taxation to Her / His War Mongering Government, then I would respectfully suggest that War Tax Resistance is the very first step to eliminating poverty and hunger, along with a massive reduction in consumption based lifestyles. And just to show that not all Religions have their priorities arse about face when it comes to these matters, here's a guy I came across ages ago who is still sticking to his War Tax Resistance beliefs.

    https://sniggle.net/Experiment/index.php?entry=outline

    Assuaging ones guilt through charity, would have to be one of the most sickening concepts alive today. Wouldn't it be great to see the people of the 'Western World' thinking just a little bit deeper about these issues?

    Cheers

    Mechandy
     
  13. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    Yes
    people often also compliment the USA on its foreign aid but c. 18% goes to the militaristic Israeli regime, and a lot of the rest is what illegal wetback workers send home.
    Japan is now also, now, buying billions of $s of Yank weapons

    Meanwhile back at the farm. Some more banana seed sources


    https://www.rarepalmseeds.com/sampler.shtml
     
  14. Mechandy

    Mechandy Junior Member

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    Meanwhile, Back at the Root Cause

    It is good to see MA, that you are across some of the issues. The question remains however, 'what are you proposing in order to solve this problem?'

    After all, that US$2,250 Billion (by the way, that was 2007 expenditure), when added to all the other 'Defense' (read invasion) spending in the 'Western World', would help enormously as a first year reparation payment for all the damage the 'West' has caused. Especially if we simultaneously stopped raping and pillaging the 'Developing Worlds' resources and exploiting its Labour for all the cheap goodies on the shelves in our shopping centers.

    So why is it that when so many people are aware of the Root Cause, they remain 'willfully ignorant'?

    What is it that they fear in taking a stand?

    Could it be that they think they will 'miss out', if they take a stand and no-one else does?

    Could it be that think they will be marginalized and ignored on their favorite Permaculture forum?

    Or is it that they believe in an alternative plan? If so, what is it?

    Mechandy
     
  15. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    Please see my signature quotes, simple really.

    PS
    This might interest you -a talk fest
     
  16. Mechandy

    Mechandy Junior Member

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    Thanks MA, your response speaks for itself really, and I respect your right to the position you are taking.

    The hypocrisies of the Post Modernist World interest me greatly, so I shall return to the 'Sustainability Thread', where I will kick things off again, with an excerpt from one of your posts, to me;

    'And with my moderator's hat:-
    Please try not to be so condescending; we are all delicate, fragile people here, who respond better with gentle persuasion, rather than bombast.'

    'Talk Fests?' Sorry, I never went to University, in fact left school at 15, and have always been committed to Didactic Learning (that is, self taught). I find that Universities frequently take most people of action and, apart from the very few, indoctrinate them into people of 'inaction'. I much prefer to take personal responsibility through my own actions, as I stated in my post above. Perhaps you missed it?

    'It's why I became a 'War Tax Resister', by purposefully and legally limiting my income to that of just below the Tax Free Threshold.'

    The 400 people gathering at the University of Sydney, will be discussing how it is they can maintain the status quo, whilst appearing as if they truly care. Something that appears to be quite widespread.

    Mechandy
     
  17. sindhooram

    sindhooram Junior Member

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    tropical - as well as what was already mentioned, amaranth - easy to grow and doesnt need too great soil and nutritious, moringa, heat resistant tomato variety (Thai egg did OK for me), cherry tomatoes, basil, aloevera, ginger, yard long bean or other asian tropical beans,capsicum, aubergine.
     
  18. Mechandy

    Mechandy Junior Member

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  19. Adam

    Adam Junior Member

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    Here is my list for the tropics 8). Let me know what you think.

    1. Ipomoea aquatica (Water spinach aka Kang Kong aka Phak Bung) - grows very quickly and easily during the wet season; nutritious and great in stir fries
    2. Amaranthus cruentus (Amaranth) - can be used as a grain or leaf vegetable
    3. Carica papaya (Papaya) - used as fruit or vegetable; medicinal uses of seed; vertical growth
    4. Allium sativum (Garlic) - Flavor for stir fries and other dishes (would combine well with the water spinach); easy to grow and virtually pest-free; great companion plant; medicinal properties
    5. Capsicum frutescens (Bird's Eye Chili) - Flavor for other dishes; Insect repellant; Grows easily and without much care
    6. Manihot esculenta (Cassava aka Manioc) - important staple food; drought-resistant; easy to store
    7. Cucurbita maxima (Jap pumpkin aka Kabocha) - flesh, seeds, and flowers all edible; easy to store
    8. Solanum lycopersicum (Tomato) - easy to grow anywhere; many varieties to choose from but a cherry variety would probably be best
    9. Vigna unguiculata subsp. sesquipedalis (Cowpea aka Yardlong bean) - great protein source; used raw or cooked and great in stir-fries; nitrogen fixer; vertical growth
    10. Artocarpus altilis (Breadfruit) - a little difficult to propagate initially, but a mature tree will provide copious amounts of food

    Honorable Mentions:

    Ipomoea batatas (Sweet potato)* - great source of starch; grows abundantly (note: would need to use a slip or tuber instead of seed)
    Ananas comosus (Pineapple)* - ridiculously easy to grow; drought-resistant
    Passiflora edulis (Passionfruit) - great vitamin C source; vertical growth
    Musa acuminata (Ladyfinger Banana)* - staple starch; use in banana circles
    Hylocereus undatus (Pitaya aka Dragonfruit) - grows well in dry areas; good source of vitamin C
    Psidium guajava (Apple guava) - easy to grow; medicinal uses
    Solanum melongena (Eggplant aka Aubergine) - versatile in cooking, absorbing other flavors easily
    Capsicum annuum (Bell pepper aka Capsicum) - easy to grow; vitamin C

    * Not included in list because they don't propagate from seeds or are difficult to propagate that way.
     
  20. seed savers

    seed savers Junior Member

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    Wonderful heart. The best kit would be as diverse as there are microclimates in the world and cultures. So the best kit may be something like this from my point of view (that may change as soon as i move...) something for the children to read to their parents who may not be fully litterate.
    "Ask grandma to tell us what your local traditional seed are and look for them. Add to that gifts of seeds from neighbouring villages and districts and you wil lhave the beginning of a local seed collection and exchange" sorry no time to edit so it is raw.
     

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